Diagnosis: Meningeal Worm, M-Worm. Sheep Symptoms: eyes rolling or moving back and forth rapidly (nystagmus), appears drunk, trouble walking, head swaying or rocking back and forth rapidly.

About 6 months ago we came across a sheep that was experiencing unusual symptoms as outlined below.  Being the new Shepherd / Shepherdess we were we had no idea the importance of the recognition of symptoms and the immediate actions we took (10pm) to administer a quick regimen.  The primary contributor and diagnosis was by Dee Heinrich at Peepr Hollow Farm along with the background sources published at the bottom of this page.

Symptoms:

  1. Trouble with hind legs, stiff or dragging,  typically appears first when seen walking without pressure.  
  2. Head swaying, rolling or rocking rapidly, sheep having difficulty walking straight (drunk like appearance). May take a few steps and stop.  
  3. Close examination of eyes had rapid movement back and forth (nystagmus), or rolling.   See video showing mild symptoms. 
  4. Worst cases have been documented as loss of control of rear legs unable to stand. Loss of ability to urinate or defecate.  

Hypothesis:

Neurological impacts are likely due to Meningeal Worm, Lead Poisoning, or Polio.   We later concluded this was likely Meningeal. There is no way to know for sure unless an autopsy is performed.

The Treatment Plan We Followed:

Immediately treated for Meningeal worm (see below) and called vet for a site visit / diagnosis. The vet will treat for polio in parallel to Meningeal treatment.  Once the vet doses the sheep for polo and if the sheep recovers within 24-48 hrs it was likely polio; otherwise continue Meningeal treatment as follows. 

Vet Treatment & Dosages:

  • Nuflor - 6cc
  • Thiamine - 2cc
  • Dexamethazone - 1cc

Meningeal Treatment for Sheep:  

  • Panacure at 2x 10mg dose oral drench
  • Actual dose given 7cc (per 100lb sheep) for period of seven days

The Plan We Executed

  • Day 1: Diagnosis (pre vet)
    • Panacur - 7CC
    • Dexamethazone - 1 cc
       
  • Day 2-7: Vet
    • Vet
      • Nuflor - 6cc
      • Thiamine - 2cc
      • Dexamethazone - 1cc
    • Panacur - 7CC
       
  • Day 3-7: Post Vet
  • Panacur - 7CC
IMG_1881.JPG

Status 6 Months

We are happy to report at about six months from diagnosis Petal (Romeldale CVM) is doing very well.  Her predator flight instinct was impacted a bit. The upside is that she is the friendliest sheep on the farm; always the first to great you and beg for cookies.  We haven't seen any other major impairments, her biggest is that she still walks with a bit of a tilt of her head.  This fall she bred and was scanned with one lamb.  We will be watching her closely to see if her mothering instincts are still intact.